* House Republicans will issue 600-plus-page report on Wednesday that harshly criticizes all aspects of the government's response to Katrina: "It was a failure of leadership. In this instance, blinding lack of situational awareness and disjointed decision making needlessly compounded and prolonged Katrina's horror." [WP, NYT]

* Cheney accidentally shoots companion during hunting trip in Texas. Mary Matalin: "He felt badly, obviously. On the other hand, he was not careless or incautious or violate any of the [rules]. He didn't do anything he wasn't supposed to do." [WP, NYT, USAT, WT]

* Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Tom Daschle believe eavesdropping is necessary but doubt Bush has the legal authority. [WP, LAT]

* Dean says Cheney should resign if he was involved in the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity. [NYT, WT]

* Sen. Frist (R-Tenn.) will push for a complete repeal of the estate tax this spring: "I will do everything in my power to bury the 'death tax' once and for all." [W$J]

* Congress will not have to abide by local smoking ban. [USAT]

* Sen. Clinton (D-N.Y.) needs to hone her speaking skills. [NYT]

* Republican commentator Bruce Bartlett loses think tank job after writing book critical of Bush. [NYT]


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